With support from the government and dedicated academics, the Institute of Occupation Safety and Health (IOSH) was officially established in August 1992 as an integrated research institute dedicated to occupational safety and health in Taiwan.
After IOSH was established, the “IOSH Short/Mid/Long-term Research Plan” was first proposed in 1994, followed in 1997, 2001 and 2004 by “Strategic OSH Research Plans” for 1997-2001, 2001-2005, and 2005-2008, respectively, in order to ensure that research initiatives were carried out systematically and as planned. For the 2009-2012 plan, numerous internal and external discussion meetings were held from January to June of 2008 to collect opinions from internal researchers, experts, and scholars. By examining the current OSH situation as well as national and worldwide trends, ISOH has been able to provide emergency relief measures to the Council of Labor Affairs, introduce leading technologies from overseas, and build a localized safety and health database. The Institute has already made initial progress in the promotion and application of its research results through presentations, patent transfers, and publications (see Appendix for details).
In addition to carrying on the spirit of past planning, in recent years IOSH research plans have been designed to reflect the nation’s changing industrial structure. They also reflect the results of national occupational hazard exposure surveys, while aiming to achieve the strategic goal of “reducing the rate of occupational accidents to less than 0.4%” as projected in President Ma Ying-jeou’s “Policy White Paper” and the “Medium- to Long-term Policy Plan (2009-2012)” of the Council of Labor Affairs. After pooling opinions from public discussions and incorporating these opinions through stringent operating procedures, IOSH mapped out its 2009-2012 OSH research strategies--(1) Health & Safety Policy-related Studies; (2) Health & Safety Core Competency and R&D; (3) Monitoring and Control of Emerging Health & Safety Issues; and (4) Application & Promotion of Research Results--to provide concrete guidance for R&D efforts in the future. To achieve the planned objectives, IOSH will continue to generate basic information on working environments and labor conditions while stepping up its research efforts on the prevention of occupational injuries and diseases. Also, it will focus on specific health and safety issues for different stages and develop skills and techniques for evaluation, monitoring, supervision, and protection. This will allow research to be conducted in an ongoing and interdisciplinary manner based on task orientation, consolidation, and division of labor. Not only will this enhance safety and health standards in the domestic working environment, but it will also raise worker awareness of safety and health issues in the workplace and, therefore, reduce occupational hazards, prevent occupational diseases, and ultimately bring about a safe, clean, and comfortable working environment for laborers in Taiwan.